One of my least favorite forms of anxiety is when there is an incident involving one of my kids and an adult from outside my house. The incident spawns a half dozen emotionally charged conversations which range between damage control and emotional processing. I then spend the next two days and nights with every spare cycle in my brain attempting to re-write it all. Could I have prevented it? I should have been more confrontational. I should have been more conciliatory. I should not have said that. Yes I should have, I should have said it stronger. Here is a thing I should have said, but didn’t. Here is a thing I think and feel, but didn’t say because it wasn’t constructive. Except maybe I should have said it. Here is another thing I should have made clear. Except I already tried to make it clear, didn’t I? Can I be blamed if the other party is incapable of hearing what my child and I are saying? I blame me anyway. Except I don’t because logic tells me that the incident occurred because the other adult overstepped bounds. Not our fault. But I should have handled it better.
And then there is the time that my brain spends trying to script out what I should say and do for imagined future conflicts. Because this isn’t over. More conversations will need to be had. And I dread them. Because I don’t expect them to go well. And I have to figure out how to stay focused on the important goals and not on venting feelings. My brain is really good at making up terrible scenarios where everything goes wrong from here and relationships crash and burn. It plays these scenarios out in the spaces between thoughts of conversational re-scripts. While I’m trying to be asleep.
The good news is that everyone inside my house is in accord about what happened. Conflict does not dwell inside my house. The other good news is that my child is more loving and Christ-like than I am in this. I may have to follow my child’s lead, which is right in line with scriptural instruction. More good news is that I have spoken to other adults in my child’s life and they are allies to my goals. I have not asked them to step into battle, but they will make sure that they take extra care to love and accept my child in the next few weeks. My child will need that.
Now if I can just get the noise in my brain to quiet down enough so that I can think clearly, that would be nice. I need clear thoughts to hear inspiration and guidance before I have any more conversations or take any actions.